Content Marketing is one of the main strategic pillars of modern marketing. By creating and sharing valuable, consistent, and relevant content, your chances of attracting and retaining qualified leads increase dramatically. And, it works wonders if we were to look at the numbers: content marketing is estimated to become a 300 billion dollars industry by 2019, doubling its growth in under four years.
If you’ve been struggling to get patients to your physical therapy clinic, then you know that traditional marketing is slowly losing its efficacy. In a world that is becoming more and more connected, a mass communication approach doesn’t work anymore. Patients want personalized approaches and answers and the assurance that they are treated as unique individuals with specific needs and preferences and not like walking dollar signs.
That’s where content marketing has proven its efficiency. The principle behind is more than intuitive – if patients can count on your physical therapy clinic for information, then they will most likely gain trust in your expertise and choose your services.
So, the game is changing and is becoming abundantly clear that content marketing is a powerful business tool. However, along with this richness of content, there comes an even bigger challenge for physical therapy clinics and not only: being visible and relevant. How can you do that? Or, better said: how can you stand out when your competitors are probably using the same tactics as you?
Read on to find out!
Let’s assume that you are already using content marketing to reach out to and connect with potential patients. But, consider this aspect for a second: not only that you are developing your communication strategy through content marketing, but also building your brand. So, if you haven't already, then it’s high time to ask yourself what makes your physical therapy clinic unique? In other words: what is your IT factor?
Defining your PT clinic’s differentiator factor is a crucial step in ensuring the long-term success of your strategy. Sure, quality service is essential, but it’s not enough to help you differentiate yourself from your competitors. You need to think beyond that if you want to stay one step ahead of the game. For instance, your IT Factor could consist of the fact that your physical therapy clinic offers orthopedic physical therapy services in excellent ambiance and with overly qualified personnel.
So, you’ve determined what makes your PT clinic unique. Now, it’s time to translate your IT factor into your content marketing strategy as a Content Differentiation Factor or CDF. In other words, you need to think about what makes your content stand out among the seemingly endless stream of information that your audience navigates daily.
Let’s imagine that you’ve determined that what makes your PT clinic unique is your state-of-the-art orthopedic physical therapy services. You could translate that into CDF by creating content related to your area of expertise. For instance, you could approach topics related to orthopedic problems from multiple angles, maybe starting from questions from patients. The possibilities are endless.
We know what you are thinking: isn’t the Content Differentiator Factor and the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) the same thing? The short answer is no. Your USP refers to the elements that make your products or services different than your competitors. Your CDF, on the other hand, refers to the unique angle through which you market your brand and write about your products and services.
Here’s how to find yours:
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when communicating with their audience is focusing on what they want to say. They tend to go on and on about their complementary products, complex, full package services, or maybe exceptional personnel. However, what most businesses tend to overlook is that patients care about their problems and needs and how you can help them solve them and not necessarily about what distinction your staff got.
A patient-centric approach might sound quite tricky to implement, but in reality, it’s only a matter of understanding your can your audience. Your content strategy should always start not from what you’d like to say, but on what your patients might need to hear. Make sure to adapt your message to their needs, questions, and insecurities. That way you can have a real opportunity to become relevant.
Try to learn as much as you can about your audience so that you can anticipate their needs and desires. Ask yourself: WHO are your patients? HOW can you help them better than your competitors? HOW can you create relevant content for them? WHY do you create content?
Let’s go back to our previous example for a second. If you are a specialized orthopedic physical therapy clinic, then your patients could be mainly performance sportsmen who often get injured during training or competitions. You can help them better than your competitors by having the best personnel in the market (gather top specialists) and in an excellent ambiance (aesthetics, aiding treatment instruments, clean location, central, etc.) Tie everything together by creating content that helps your prospects understand how sports injuries happen, the advantages and disadvantages of each type of recommended treatment, the qualification of personnel and experiences of previous patients, and so on.
Your clinic does not offer services – it provides benefits. Try to make sure that your audience understands the clear benefits of your physical therapy clinic. Can any of your direct competitors treat them with the same services as you do? What do you offer on top? What makes you competitive? What makes you relevant? More than ever, your answers for your patients can either make you or break you.
The best way to make this approach visible is through how you write your content. For example, when you mention a recommended therapy, don’t focus on explaining only how it works – make your patients see beyond that. Help them understand how does it help them? What do they get at the end of the day? Is it the joy of being healthy faster? Is it the reassurance you can get them back on track for the marathon they’ve been training for so long?
As long as you understand the needs of your patients, you can estimate the benefits they would need from your services. Keep the micro-moments patients go through while confronted with a medical or health-related challenge in mind, such as:
If you are always ready to offer clear benefits in each of these micro-moments, you might considerably increase your chance of being their choice when it’s time to book a service. For instance, offering educational and informative content on sports injuries could increase your relevancy in the niche. If you are there at the right moment and you are trustworthy, then you can definitely increase your chances of being the chosen one.
One of the first questions prospects have when considering your services is: what makes you credible? Proving your authority in your niche can be a real turning point. No matter how good your services are, if your content fails to be reliable, your clinic might lose credibility too. That is why one of the most important aspects remain complete transparency and relevant expertise. You need to make sure your content lives up to your physical therapy clinic’s brand – it has to be founded on clear scientific evidence and prove it is based on experts’ opinions.
Going back to our example, if you are a niche physical therapy clinic for orthopedics, don’t write about geriatric or neurological issues. When you write content about orthopedics, make sure your arguments stay scientific and can be backed down with credible evidence. Don’t make assumptions and promise benefits that are not attainable – it will only drive your potential patients away.
Instead, you should focus on finding out how you can do it better than anyone else. Don’t try to be different for the sake of it – sometimes, people might have basic expectations. If they book an appointment for physical therapy for a sports injury, they expect the treatment to be effective. They want to see improvements and feel progress. You can stand out not only through being different. Sometimes, being better or the best can seal the deal, especially for health-related services where quality is the primary purchase criteria.
Now that you've identified your CDF, it's time to learn how to leverage it. Maximizing your information about your PT clinic and your audience can really set the record for success. Don’t hesitate to challenge your practice continuously – even a CDF can be steadily improved. You can always refresh your brand once it’s gained significant awareness.
Use your CDF to stand out in everything you do and correlate the digital experience of your potential and actual patients to the one you offer in your PT clinic. You should not perceive content marketing or digital communication as an entirely different advertising way. Basically, it is only a different channel, in which the same patients act differently, solely based on the environment they are navigating in for information.
You should take on the challenge of content marketing bravely – know who you’re talking to and make sure that even if you try to be relevant, you never lose out of sight your “why.” Base your content on clear insights and SEO reports, so that you can increase your traffic by fully leveraging your CDF.
More importantly, even if you try to create content which is asked and needed, always do it as a natural extension of what your physical therapy clinic stands for and is. That way, your authenticity will make you even more relevant and trustworthy in the long run and will bring even more patients to your door than to your competitors.
We’re not saying it's going to be easy. It can be a hell of a ride. If, at any point, you feel as if you might need a hand, don't hesitate to get in touch with the experts at PatientSites.com.
Give us a call and let's have a chat about your goals.
Do you want to take your physical therapy marketing to the next level? Download our Free Evergreen Marketing Blueprint for Physical Therapists and start creating long-term assets that generate new patient bookings for years to come.